From the dawn of human history mankind has sought for, dreamed of, aspired to something better, something more enduring, something eternal! For centuries philosophers and religionists have set forth scores of often conflicting theories as to what life was all about. Even King David of Israel long ago cried out to the God of Israel, “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” A good question that! Why should God care about sinful, rebellious, wayward mankind? The answer to that question is also the answer to the question of the ages: “Why was man created in the first place? Why human life?”
Some two thousand years ago God inspired a man to write a lengthy letter that begins to answer the above questions. That letter later became part of the Bible and is today known as the Book of Hebrews. Beginning with chapter 1, verse 1 of that book we read: “God who at sundry (various) times and in divers (different, or diverse) manners spoke in time past unto the fathers (the patriarchs of the Old Testament) by the prophets, has in these last days (the Church Age) spoken unto us (the body of Christ, Christians) by His Son (Jesus Christ), whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds” (verse 2). (Note: All comments in parantheses are those of the author of this article).
Notice that God the Father has appointed Jesus Christ “heir of all things!” One translation of the Bible reads: “heir of the entire universe!”
I now direct your attention to a verse of scripture that begins to cast some searching light on this matter of mankind’s incredible potential – the very reason for human life, for YOUR existence. Let’s begin reading with the 16th verse of Romans 8: “The Spirit (God’s Holy Spirit) itself bears witness with our (human) spirit that we are the children of God: And if (God’s) children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together” (verse 17).
Yes, we will be glorified together with Jesus Christ if we continue with Him: “For even hereunto were you called (it was for this express purpose that God first called you into His great family to begin with): because Christ (our forerunner) also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps” (I Peter 2:21).
But WHY? Why would God wish for His sons and daughters to suffer? And how? The apostle James answered that question beautifully when he wrote: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers (different) temptations (trials and tests), knowing this that the trying of your faith works patience (serves to produce this godly character trait in an individual). But let patience have her perfect (maturing) work, that you may be perfect (spiritually mature and complete) and entire (a well-rounded spiritual personality), wanting nothing (lacking no godly character attribute in your spiritual character and personality)” (James 1:2-4).
The apostle Paul, under inspiration of God, assures all true and obedient followers of Jesus Christ that they are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, that is, whatever scripture says Christ is heir to is ours also. We will share it with Him to one degree or another! And “he that overcomes (the pulls of the flesh, the evil attractions of the world about him, and the deceptions of Satan the devil) shall inherit ALL THINGS, and I will be His God, and he shall be my son” (See Revelation 21:7). And don’t think God is unable or unwilling to generate as close a relationship between Himself and His sons (and daughters) as is experienced by a loving human parent and their human offspring.
But verse 16 of Romans 8, which we just read, cannot be rightly understood apart from the two verses preceding it. Those verses read as follows: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, THEY (and they ONLY) are the sons (and daughters – children) of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage (to sin) again to fear (the final wages of sin – death), but you have received the Spirit of adoption (or even better, “sonship”) whereby we cry, ‘Abba (Aramaic term meaning), Father” (verses 14 and 15).
And if you really do have God’s Spirit leading in your life – without which you are not even a child of God – then verse 13 will find fulfillment in your life: “For if you live after the flesh (merely following the pulls and pathway of human nature), you shall die (make no mistake about it), but if you through the Spirit (the only way possible) do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body (sinful thoughts, speech and actions), you shall live (eternally).” And when this apostle warns you shall die, if habitually following the pulls of the flesh, he means the second death – eternal death – as we will ALL die the first death whether godly or ungodly. The ONLY exception to that rule is those believers yet alive at the time of Christ’s return. They will be changed from mortal to immortal without ever experiencing death! (See I Corinthians 15:51-54 with I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Now, returning to our passage in Hebrews 1, we read: “Who (Jesus Christ) being the brightness of His (the Father’s) glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power (or “His power-filled word of command”), when He had by Himself purged our sins (having been totally abandoned by the Father while hanging on Calvary as He had become an abomination in God’s sight when taking the sins of the whole human race upon Himself at that moment), sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (God the Father), being made so much better than the angels (having experienced human life for thirty-three years with all the temptations of the flesh), as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they (the angels)” (verses 3-4).
Being joint-heirs with Christ, we now see that we shall also inherit a better name than the angels, for “are they (the angels) not all (nothing more than) ministering spirits, sent forth to minister (serve, assist, aid, etc.) for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (verse 14). The apostle Paul added something even more astounding to this divine revelation when he wrote: “Do you not know that the saints (overcoming believers) will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters (now, in this life, meaning in the church)? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life? (See I Corinthians 6:2-3).
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him (and to love God is to obey Him and keep His commandments).’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things (all the scriptures, Hebrew and Greek scriptures), yes, the deep things of God” (See I Corinthians 2:9-10).
“Therefore let no man boast in men, for all things are yours, whether…the world…or things present or things to come – ALL ARE YOURS!” (See I Corinthians 3:21-22). THAT’S what it means to be a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. You become an heir of it all – everything – THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!! So don’t envy Trump, Gates, or Oprah.
“And he who overcomes, and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces (should they rebel) like the potter’s vessel – as I also have received from my Father” (See Revelation 2:26-27).
“To Him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21). A throne that rules the entire universe – ALL THINGS!
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one ACCORDING TO HIS WORK” (Revelation 22:12). “He who overcomes shall inherit ALL THINGS (resurrecting power, healing power, creative power), and I will be His God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7).
But our Lord issues a fearful warning to all of His followers: “Behold, I am coming as a thief (without warning). Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his (white) garments (spotless from sins defilement), lest he walk naked (of righteousness) and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).
Believers are not “locked in” to a walk of obedience. We can backslide, fail to make the grade, so to speak. We can turn back to the world. (Demas did – see 2 Timothy 4:10). The apostle James warned that to be friend of the world, loving the evil things this world offers up, is to be an enemy of God. (See James 4:4 with I John 2:15-17). Demas became an enemy of God. We can, too. And there will be no enemies of God in His eternal kingdom.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us (does not appreciate this as being a true statement of fact), because it did not know Him (crucifying Him, thinking Him to be a mere man, a false messiah). Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself (by resisting Satan’s deceptions and pulls of the flesh), even as He is pure” (I John 3:1-3).
So WHY human life? It was clearly stated in the very beginning when God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (See Genesis 1:26). God is bringing many sons and daughters to glory. (See Hebrews 2:10). Human life is phase one of a two-phase process of creation. Phase two begins the moment we are converted, have our past sins forgiven and washed away and have God’s Spirit imparted to us following genuine, life-lasting repentance and baptism. Phase one takes an average of nine months to complete. Phase two takes the remainder of our lives! Phase one can suffer an abortion. Likewise, with phase two. Demas was aborted. Judas was aborted. Solomon, YES SOLOMON, was aborted. (Haven’t you ever read I Kings, Chapter 11 coupled with David’s warning to Solomon given in I Chronicles 28:9?) There is no respect of persons with God. The apostle Peter wrote that “the Father..without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work” (See I Peter 1:17). It doesn’t matter whether your name is Saul or Solomon. Paul warned Timothy: “If we deny Him, HE ALSO WILL DENY US!” (See 2 Timothy 2:11-13). It matters not whether you are a believer, a minister, or an apostle, even a writer of scripture – Solomon was! And Judas is called an apostle in Matthew 10:1-8.
NOTHING outside of you, yourself, can force you out of God’s safekeeping. Only sin committed by YOU can do that. The prophet warns us that our sins can separate us from the Lord our God – sins that are continued, sins we are unwilling to abandon. God does not welcome rebels into His eternal kingdom – and continued sin is rebellion against God. It defiles our garments and can leave us naked, naked of righteousness, naked of forgiveness, naked of an inheritance – and we are but heirs of eternal life at the moment, not yet inheritors. (See I Peter 3:7; Hebrews 1:14; Titus 3:5-7).
“Be not deceived (believer), God is not mocked (you can’t put one over on Him), for whatever a man sows (believer or unbeliever), THAT he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows (present, continual tense) to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season (at Christ’s return and the resurrection) we shall reap (life everlasting) if we faint not (grow weary of following the Lord and throw in the towel)” (See Galatians 6:8-9). Those words were written to BELIEVERS, not to the world at large!
Remember, Jesus warned that many would seek to enter into eternal life and would not be able. They would fail to count the cost. They would not have sufficient commitment to finish the race. (See Luke 14:25-35). They would begin to build only to find they were unable to complete their building. Multitudes are deceived into thinking all they need do is believe Jesus Christ died for them and presto-chango that’s it. It is finished! They think their salvation was completed before Jesus Christ even died or rose again for our justification. Those often quoted words, “It is finished” were uttered from the cross BEFORE Jesus had even died, and he was referring to the completion of all prophetic scriptures that had to be fulfilled, finished, completed, discharged before His death. That is WHY He said, “I thirst.” When they gave Him to drink He then finished fulfilling that last prophetic text from Psalm 69:21, and said “It is finished” and died. He was NOT referring to our salvation having been finished at that moment, but to the last prophetic scripture having been finished or discharged before He could die.
No one is finally and completely saved by Jesus’ death! “But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. MUCH MORE THEN, being now justified by His (shed) blood, WE SHALL BE SAVED from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies (due to our sins and rebellion), we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, MUCH MORE, being reconciled, WE SHALL BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE” (See Romans 5:8-10). NO ONE is finally and completely saved by Jesus Christ’s death. His death reconciles us to God, justifies us of our past sins. But there is MUCH MORE following that reconciliation for WE SHALL BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE! So says YOUR Bible! A book most believers are woefully ignorant of. It takes Jesus Christ in His capacity of High Priest to bring you, or anyone else, into full salvation. Paul warned: “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, you are yet in your sins” (See I Corinthians 15:14,17), as it takes a LIVING Savior to save you!
Those who unwittingly pervert that text in John 19:30, the passage where Christ utters the words, “It is finished,” do the same with many other texts, such as the passage in John 10:27-29, where Jesus says none can “pluck” a believer out of God’s hand. They fail to realize that the Greek word translated “pluck” in that verse is the Greek word for FORCE, and is so translated in Acts 23:10 and other passages. Nothing, no one, not even Satan and all his demons can force a believer out of God’s safekeeping and control. But a believer CAN remove himself from God’s care and control. We are not locked in. “Sealed with the Spirit” does not mean “locked in by the Spirit.” One needs to look at the Greek there also. It means “approved” by the Spirit. God’s gives us His Holy Spirit, approving that our faith and repentance is genuine. See Ephesians 1:13. No scripture even implies that we are locked in to obeying the Lord by being sealed by the Holy Spirit. Any one of us can become a Demas, a Solomon, or a Judas. You DO know Solomon became a rank idolator in later life, don’t you? (Read the entirety of the 11th chapter of I Kings that speaks of Solomon’s rank and continued idolatry. NO MAN can serve two masters, not even Solomon!)
God’s purpose for human life is that we become like Him, molded and fashioned into His image through process of time finally to be born of him through a resurrection, having been begotten by Him through faith, repentance and baptism. THAT is rightly dividing the Word of God.
Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Wiley, 902 Pleasant Court, Brookville, OH 45309 Tel. No. (937) 270-5681
P.S. Satan is good at his job of deception. He is without peer or equal in this regard. That is WHY the “Christian” religion has been divided and subdivided again and again into dozens and dozens of differing, contradictory, human organizations – each calling themselves this or that “church.” Half-a-dozen Methodist ministers lay hands on a young Methodist Bible college graduate and pronounce him “ordained,” signing a piece of paper identifying him as such In print. A group of Baptists, or Pentecostal, or Presbyterian clerics do the same with one of their own. Each then see themselves as ordained ministers, ordained by God, called by God, representing God though teaching a host of conflicting, blatantly contradictory doctrines. And all is confusion.
True teachers of God’s Word are few and far between. Generally they are scorned by the religious of the world and are themselves viewed as imposters since they don’t have man’s credentials: the ordination certificate and/or the minister’s license. Just as one can live a long life and never meet a converted Jew face to face, as only a small remnant of the Jewish population is elected to salvation in this present age, so, too, one can live a long life and never meet face to face with a truly anointed teacher of God’s Word, empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so, as, like the elect Jew, their number is rather small. The plain and simple truth can often be mistaken for arrogance and pride. God’s spokesmen have often been viewed as such, angering religious leaders to the point that they even gnashed on them with their teeth and stoned them to death. (See Acts 7). How angry does a religious person have to get that he actually bites you and beats you to death!!! And what arrogance and pride fills the hearts of such personalities???? My closing word of advice: “Prove all things! Test the spirits whether they are of God. Hold fast to that which you find to be proven by scripture.”